While America celebrates Independence Day, across the Atlantic in the City of Lights, the runways are on fire with Haute Couture fashion. Every July Paris hosts the Couture shows. In order to obtain the moniker of Haute Couture, the designer is required to adhere to strict rules including one that states the show must occur in Paris. But this technicality has not stopped designers from using the term Haute Couture. It’s been widely used to describe anything slightly fancy— from denim to eveningwear.
But the actual Paris Haute Couture shows bring out the pinnacle of high fashion. The most outrageous and over-the-top creative ideas are presented to the press, influencers, and of course clients. The shows end up lighting a fashion industry fire and affect retailers from Zara to Red Carpet attention grabbers. But still there are plenty of wearable creations that serious buyers will want to purchase. They will start the process of bespoke fittings and precise ultra-personalized service resulting in a garment made for them exclusively with every detail meticulously considered.
Tony Ward always strives to design, create, and transform while keeping sustainability at the core of what he does. He collaborated with high-tech architect and digital fabricator Batoul Al-Rashdan for a statement piece using biodegradable plant-based materials. There were a variety of classical shapes and Red Carpet dresses along with a Bridal finale gown.
Although Haute Couture usually brings out the outrageous in fashion, it’s not the case with Chanel. Virginia Viard’s collections have been leaning on the practical side with impeccable attention to detail, exquisite fabrics, and simple wearable silhouettes bringing fashion back to basics. It’s the kind of luxury only the wearer knows about. It’s the interior as well as the exterior of the garment that makes it a secret extravagance.
It seems like a conscious decision on Viard’s part to ignore attention-grabbing costumey looks and stay on track with wearable made-to-order clothing. The collection is in sync with the quiet luxury trend that is prevalent. Chanel Haute Couture exemplifies this movement and has been for several seasons.
The show was held on the colorful cobblestone streets near the River Seine. First came a grouping of tweedy coats, followed by day looks and then evening. It was an ode to classic French girl cool X Chanel with long masculine overcoats, girly blouses over pleated skirts, and vests paired with pin-striped trousers to name a few. Skirts were to the knee and blazers dropped below the waist which rang a bit frumpy. The looks were worn with a modest heeled Mary Jane. As always the finale was the classic bride in a diaphanous drop waist midi length dress and veil—beautiful in it’s simplicity.
Valentino guests had to travel 30 miles north of Paris to a 16-century villa named the Chateau de Chantilly. Kaia Gerber was the first to walk out wearing a white shirt and pair of jeans. But obviously there was more to the denim look. Because it’s Haute Couture the jeans were created with silk gazar, embroidered and beaded fabric. It’s smoke and mirrors for the viewer but for the wearer of the garment—pure luxury.
The denim looks were followed by a mixed bag of day and evening looks. An oversized bow shoe peeked out of the bottom of the looks as the models sauntered down the stairs and on the path. Giagantic chandeleer earrings were worn by all the Valentino girls.